700 Illinois Hemp growers from around the state had some of their questions answered in the first official Hemp Summit held by the Illinois Department of Agriculture yesterday in Springfield. This year was the first year that industrial hemp could be grown in the State of Illinois.
Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture John Sullivan said that the summit helped cover a wide array of topics. He said he sees the industry in its infancy with vast amounts of potential. Sullivan said that many hemp producers had questions about the USDA’s new hemp farm rules for next year. You can view the rules at this link.
Department of Ag’s Bureau Chief of Medicinal Plants Jeff Cox says that he covered several topics with hemp farmers as well. Cox said there were a lot about usage of pesticides on hemp. Currently, there are no current pesticides authorized for use on the plants. Cox said there were also a lot of questions about crop reporting and testing requirements, as well.
The Department of Ag isn’t sure how many acres of hemp were grown in the state and harvested this year, but he sees hemp farming growing. Sullivan and Cox says that the Department of Ag hopes to host the summit annually to continue to answer and address issues as hemp farming is likely to continue to grow significantly within the next year.